Mother whose toddler drowned in the New River receives prison sentence

Kimberly Moore received a two-year prison sentence

Kimberly Moore (New River Valley Regional Jail)

WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – A Pulaski County woman learned Thursday how long she’ll spend in prison for her role in her daughter’s 2019 death.

Two indicted in connection with New River drowning death of 3-year-old girl

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Kimberly Moore will serve two years in a state penitentiary followed by five years of supervised probation, according to online court records.

Moore was originally charged with child abuse and reckless care of a child; however, she was found not guilty of the child abuse charge back in August 2020.

In July 2019, authorities arrested Moore and her boyfriend, Adrian Puckett, after 3-year-old Josie Burleson drowned in the New River while the pair was under the influence of meth, according to Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan.

Adrian Puckett

Authorities said Moore and Puckett reported Josie missing and told them that she was playing near the New River trail outside of their rental property on Rocky Road when she wandered off.

At the time of her disappearance, authorities said more than 100 people were searching for Josie for more than 5 and a half hours.

At the time, Dunagan told 10 News that while there have been drownings in the New River before, “when it’s a small child, it’s really different. Probably the worst thing for the responders is the fact that it is a small child because it tugs at your heart a little bit more.”

Puckett has a plea hearing scheduled for April 15, 2021, on the child abuse and reckless care of a child charges.

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